Saturday, March 21, 2009

Diana Der-Hovanessian: NO ONE TATTOOED MY SKIN

or pulled off my face.
No one ripped my belly.
I was not taken to Istanbul
for either harem
or experimental hospital.
No one nailed me on
a cross saying, “Now let
your Jesus save you.”
No one made me servant
or slave.

No one had me crawl
like a dog or grovel
for a piece of bread.

My soul did not wither
or fold its wings choosing
to drown in the Euphrates
rather than bear another day.

But, oh, my sisters,
now that ninety years
have passed and no one
has spoken for you
I spit out words you
swallowed unsaid.

reprinted with permission from Selected Poems, Diana Der-Hovanessian
Sheep Meadow Press, Riverdale-on-Hudson, N.Y.

Diana Der-Hovanessian, New England born poet, was Fulbright professor of American poetry in 1995, and 1999 at Yerevan State University. She was visiting poet in the Mass. schools for 18 years and has led poetry and translating seminars at universities world wide. Author of 22books of poetry and translations, her work has appeared in literary periodicals including Poetry, American Scholar, Nation, Partisan, New York Times, Harpers, etc.

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